In September 1964 former general of the SS and the Waffen SS, Karl Wolff was found guilty of having participated in the murder of 300,000 Jews by arranging for railway transport cars in which the victims were taken from the Warsaw ghetto to the gas chambers at the extermination camps. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison but after just five years into his sentence he was released because the court-appointed doctors declared him unfit to remain in prison due to his poor health. After his release he never stopped protesting that he had been sentenced unfairly insisting that he had only found out shortly before the end of the war that the Jews had been killed.
The courts did not believe him. For years he had been one of the closest confidantes of Heinrich Himmler- the Reichsführer SS, Hitler's highest-ranking police office officer and master of all the concentration camps.
This groundbreaking study examines his life and carrer, charting his rapid rise through the ranks of the Nazi Party to become Heinrich Himmler's right-hand man and a key figure within the Führer's inner circle. Although there are no supporting documents, people believe his statement that on April 20, 1945, shortly before the collapse of the Third Reich, he even reached the rank of general and senior general of the Waffen SS. He could not rise any higher.
On the other hand, as the top leader of the SS and Police in Italy, and also as the authorized representative general of the German Armed Forces in Italy, Wolff, played a considerable part in the capitulation of Army Group South of the German Armed Forces to the American and British forces on May 2, 1945. Thanks to this action, the war on the German southern front ended six days prior to the general ceasefire in Europe. Under Hitler's state law still operative at the time, capitulation was treason, punishable only by death.